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Textbooks In Pakistani Government Schools Teaching Hate Against Christians And Hindus, Jihad And Martyrdom To Young Students

(I’m wondering…do the Pakistani mosques and schools in the Houston area teach hate?)

By: Tufail Ahmad

Introduction

This paper examines the role of school textbooks in promoting hate against religious minorities in Pakistan. On September 22, 2013, more than 80 Christians were killed and hundreds wounded when two Taliban suicide bombers targeted worshippers as they were leaving after a Sunday mass at the 130-year old All Saints’ church in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.[1] Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party which governs the province, slammed the attackers but in the same breath asked: “why do terrorist attacks occur when dialogue is on the table?” – the insinuation being that foreign forces planned the attack to sabotage Pakistan’s peace negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).[2]

Jundul Hafsa, a militant outfit which functions as part of the Hakimullah Mehsud-led TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack. Ahmad Marwat, the group’s spokesman, said the following about Christians: “They are the enemies of Islam; therefore we target them… We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”[3] There are 200,000 Christians in the province and of them 70,000 live in Peshawar.[4] Such hate against Christians is the result of decades of teachings in government-run schools across Pakistan.

In Pakistan, where Islamist groups are launching regular attacks against non-Muslim Pakistanis like Christians and Hindus as well as some sects of Muslims such as Shi’ites and Ahmadi Muslims, whom they do not consider to be real Muslims, the official and unofficial media, government leaders and religious scholars have legitimized hate against religious minorities, with the term “minority” itself having come to be seen in a pejorative context. As a result of such legitimization of hate through school textbooks, government policies, sermons in mosques and religious congregations, there is growing persecution of Pakistani Christians, Hindus, Shias and Ahmadi Muslims. In September 2012, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) released a paper by this author, cataloguing Islamist and jihadi attacks against these minority groups and underlining the need to put Pakistan on international genocide watch.[5]

After the September 22 church attack, senior Pakistani journalist Aamer Ahmed Khan commented on the Pakistani elite’s silence in condemning such attacks on minorities in unequivocal terms, stating: “This silence of our ruling elite is itself the real Talibanism.”[6]In Pakistan, the federal government and the provincial government headed by Imran Khan’s party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are engaged in talks with the Taliban. Their ministers are publicly seen as silent in their criticism of jihadi groups and the TTP. In turn, the Taliban are emboldened. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PTI-led government has recently been in the news for initiating policies to restore jihadi lessons in school textbooks which were removed as part of reforms by the previous government of the secular Awami National Party (ANP). “What kind of sovereignty, freedom, and Islamic values are these when Islamic teachings, jihad, and national heroes are removed from textbooks? Jihad is part of our faith. We will not back down (from our decision),” Shah Farman, the information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told reporters on August 21, 2013.[7]

Pakistani Journalist Maheen Usmani: “14-Year-Old Students Of Pakistan Studies Are Being Taught: ‘One Of The Reasons For The Downfall Of The Muslims… Was The Lack Of The Spirit Of jihad’”; “13-Year-Olds Are Instructed: ‘In Islam, Jihad Is Very Important’”

Throughout Pakistan’s history, since its creation in 1947, hate speech against non-Muslims has been a normal phenomenon in Pakistani society….

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“Islamisation fears at top Pakistan university”

By Robert Spencer

….”They won’t come back for at least 30 minutes and some of them even decide not to return to class,” Sajjad Akhtar said, gathering his notes and sitting down to wait for his students to return.

At Quaid-i-Azam University, rated the best public university in Pakistan and the best Pakistani university in Asia, this is an everyday reality across all academic departments.

The university grants a 15-minute break for prayers but any student is allowed to get up as soon he hears the call to prayer in what critics call a chaotic interruption of academic life.

They say increased Islamisation in Pakistan’s top teaching institutes and among the growing middle classes is helping to dumb down academic standards and restrict students’ social life.

At Quaid-i-Azam University there are four mosques, but still no bookshop,” says Pervez Hoodbhoy, a nuclear physicist and one of Pakistan’s most prominent academics who used to teach there.

Established in 1965 in the new federal capital Islamabad, it was considered a liberal campus until 1977 when controversial military ruler Zia-ul-Haq seized power.

During his 10-year rule, until his death in a plane crash in 1988, Zia embedded a conservative form of Islam into politics and affairs of state, and ushered in sharia law to run alongside the penal code.

Trade unions and student bodies were banned in educational institutions, and Arabic and Islamic studies were made mandatory for all students until university level.

Additional marks were given in exams to students who learned the Koran by heart. Over the subsequent generations, the trend has got deeper and more embedded.

“There are far fewer students today who can sing and dance, recite poetry, or who read novels than 20 years ago,” Hoodbhoy told AFP. “The university is very much like a school for older children, where rote-learning is considered education.

“There’s no intellectual excitement, no feeling of discovery, and girls are mostly silent note-takers, you have to prod them to ask questions.”…

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Can we finally start talking about the global persecution of Christians?

After yet another bloody weekend, it’s time to speak frankly about who’s killing Christians and why.

by Mollie Hemingway

…..Before we can have an actual conversation about the persecution of Christians and others at the hands of Muslims, we have to lay some groundwork. Here are some quick thoughts for journalists, politicians and the Christian Church.

Journalists: Many journalists act as if they can’t report that acts of violence appear to have some kind of Muslim faith behind them because it might inflame anti-Muslim feelings. This reportorial approach is paired with an odd desire to hype any act of “violence” by Christians. This is why the American media will highlight a tiny Florida church burning some Quran while not mentioning that, say, the entire Kingdom of Saudia Arabia confiscates all Bibles at customs and destroys them.

When and where violence occurs involving Muslims and Christians, as it did in Pakistan, Kenya, Syria and Egypt, it is framed as a political conflict, with no examination of the religious details. Not only is this grievously unfair to the Christians who continue to be slaughtered while the rest of the world is busy watching Dancing With The Stars, it’s also a disservice to Islam, whose followers are not monolithic in their persecution of non-Muslims. Many Muslims themselves are persecuted in the name of Muslim violence. To take the most recent example, at least 96 people in Iraq were killed this past weekend when a string of bombs detonated in short order, targeting Shiite funeral-goers. Muslims who defend Christians are a bold lot. Salman Taseer, the Punjab governor, was a vocal opponent of anti-blasphemy laws that target Christians and other religious minorities. For this, he was assassinated in 2011 by his security guard.

It’s not journalists’ job to protect the public from these facts. And if it were, it would be impossible. While the media may think they’ve done a good job of obscuring part of this reality, most people have figured out that a lot of Muslims do support violence as a part of the way of Islam. And they’ve figured out as well that a lot of Muslims don’t. Both groups can appeal to long traditions within Islam for their defense.

It is the job of journalists to convey information about local and world events in all their complexity and nuance. While most media outlets privilege politics over other cultural factors, journalists really need to be cognizant about how ignorance of the role of religion harms news gathering. They should make sure their sources aren’t just politicians. They should make sure their understanding of religion is respectful of the importance it plays in most people’s lives.

Politicians: Politicians need to stop giving speeches that claim to know the heart of Muslims or the true meaning of Islam. It’s offensive and it’s not helping. And if politicians are going to give scolding speeches about religious beliefs, here’s a thought: Less of condemnation of “those who slander the prophet of Islam” and more condemnation of “those who slaughter Pakistani Christians coming out of worship.” Without even getting into whether there is a foreign policy role to play in the persecution of Christians, the American bully pulpit and diplomacy corps could stand to speak more clearly about religious violence. The current model of apologizing for American freedoms is indefensible.

The Christian Church: Whether journalists stop downplaying the facts of the persecution of Christians, Christians need to stay informed. Even if American politicians respond to Islamist violence by apologizing for the freedom of speech and of religion, the church must remain vigilant. And many are. The media didn’t quite pick up on the significance of the event, but Pope Benedict XVI announced the canonization of the Martyrs of Otranto in the same consistory in which he announced his intention to resign the papacy. In May, Pope Francis canonized the 800 Christians, who were beheaded for their faith after Turkish Muslims invaded their city in 1480. In his words, “They had refused to renounce their faith and died confessing the risen Christ.” Most church bodies have prayer guides to help members pray for the persecuted church. And many religious human rights groups work hard to get word out about persecution worldwide. Christians and others interested in stopping religious persecution should ask media outlets to cover news such as the forced conversions, blasphemy persecutions and bombings of Christians.

However much we may wish Muslim violence against Christians would resolve itself or go away, being in denial serves no purpose. To combat the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, we must first acknowledge its existence. And we need to be clear about exactly who is perpetrating violence against Christians and what is motivating them.

Read it all at http://thefederalist.com/2013/09/25/can-we-finally-start-talking-about-the-global-persecution-of-christians/

Pakistan’s Biggest Gay Cruising Spot is an Islamic Shrine

 

 

 

By Daniel Greenfield taliban-gay

 

It is Pakistan so there are only so many options. It’s either a Muslim mosque, Muslim tomb or an internet cafe. And the internet cafes have limited space.

But the BBC does report that Karachi, Pakistan is a gay paradise. If you overlook the death by stoning provision of the Islamic Hudood ordinances, which the BBC tastefully does, blaming the British colonial era for criminalizing homosexuality and implying that prison sentences are rarely handed out. Left unmentioned is that this is mainly because the “openly gay” men who show up in reports like these come from the upper classes….

…Sex between men occurs in some very public places – including, surprisingly, Karachi’s busiest shrine.

Families go to the Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine to honour the holy man buried there and to ask for God’s blessings, but it is also Karachi’s biggest cruising ground.

Every Thursday evening, as the sun sets, men from across the city gather there. A tightly packed circle is formed and those in the centre of the circle are groped by those on the periphery.

To outsiders it looks like a writhing mass of men huddling around one another. Some even describe it as a “mysterious religious ceremony”. For participants, it’s anonymous group sex.

Who says Islam is homophobic? It has its mysterious religious ceremonies….

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Pakistan: Violations against Christians Soar

She is on death row for a comment that Jesus Christ is not dead but that the Prophet Mohammed is dead. Pakistan is now one of the most dangerous places for Christians to live.

by Mohshin Habib

Rimsha Masih, a young Pakistani Christian girl, who was arrested in August 2012 by Pakistan’s police for alleged blasphemy, has escaped the country with the direct help of Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and AVAAZ, a civic organization. Local media and her parents said she was as young as 11 at the time of her arrest; medical reports classified her as an “uneducated” 14-year-old with a mental age younger than her years. Accused of burning pages of the holy book for Muslims, the Quran, Masih, under Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws,” faced the death penalty.

Masih fled with her family members to Canada, where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney instructed officials to process the family’s applications for permanent residency on humanitarian grounds.

While Masih and her family are fortunate, no one knows what will happen to the rest of the Christians of Pakistan. Even though they make up only about two percent of the population — or precisely because of it: there are so few, they may appear invitingly vulnerable — they suffer beatings by their neighbors, murder by the police and imprisonment by the courts.

Last month, three Christian women, Arshad Bibi, Sajida Bibi and Sauriya Bibi (Bibi means a lady or girl) were brutally beaten and forced to parade naked by the armed henchmen of a landlord, who happens to connections in ruling party PML(N).

According to reports, the incident occurred on the night of June 3, as the male members of the family were at work. The armed men entered the house by jumping the boundary wall, then unlocked the gate from inside. The women, along with two elderly relatives, were asleep. The attackers looked for the men; when they could not find them, they began to beat the three women. They then took the young Christian women into the street, tore off their cloths and forced them to parade naked.

Aasia Bibi, another Pakistani Christian woman who was the Pakistani court, has now been imprisoned for four years under the country’s blasphemy law. After having been given a death sentence, she is on death row for a comment that Jesus Christ is not dead but that the Prophet Mohammed is dead. For this statement, she was brutally beaten by her Muslim co-workers and arrested by the police.

 

Aasia Bibi’s family members campaign for her release in Spain, December 13, 2012. (Source: HazteOir.org)

 

Killing, oppression and humiliation are more and more frequently taking place in Pakistan. In addition to the well-known cases of Martha Bibi, Younis Masih, Rifaqaat Masih, Sawan Masih, Samuel Masih [Masih, meaning "messiah", is a very common name among Pakistan's Christians] and many others are also being subjected to killings, imprisonment with long sentences, beatings, and burnings. In just the past few months, for instance, Pakistani police killed three Christian boys for love affairs with Muslim girls. Afzal Masih 20 and Iftekhar Masih 20 were killed on Aprl 29, and Adnan Masih was tortured, then killed, by the police on June 10.

In August 2012, an 11-year-old Christian boy was found dead, with his lips and nose sliced off, his stomach removed and his legs mutilated. Police said he had also been subjected to sodomy.

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child reports that as many as 2,000 girls and women from various minority sects have, through rape, torture and kidnapping, been forcibly converted to Islam; and in 2011 alone, 161 people were charged with “blasphemy.” According to reports, in 2009, eight Christians were burned to death in Pakistan’s province of Punjab after rumors spread of a desecration of the Quran.

In April, 2013, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom warned that the risk to Pakistan’s minorities has reached a crisis level. The Commission said that the blasphemy laws, and others, are used to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity….

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